Communities, Social cohesion



Who is behind this?

Mark Schalekamp

Stichting Join the Youropeans


Idea Sketch | Proposal


Idea pitch

We are all part of that club, the EU, but we hardly know each other. That is why Mark Schalekamp, a Dutch writer/journalist went to each EU-capital to interview a doctor, policeman, hairdresser, entrepreneur, artist, immigrant, prostitute and a ‘local celebrity’ about his job, country & Europe.
In Phase One their stories are shared online and form the basis of a book about the people’s Europe, in Phase Two the Youropeans actually meet, on- and offline through 'EuroBnb'.

Where will your idea take place?

The European Union

Why does Europe need your idea?

The EU is a union of countries, but not of people - which it was supposed to be when founded. The Youropeans-project tries to contribute to Europe's social cohesion - to make it a union of people.

By sharing realistic stories -online and in person- we understand much better how people from other EU countries live and work. This will reduce prejudices and increase trust and solidarity, which is essential for meeting all actual and future EU challenges.

What is your impact?

Concrete: in Phase One I have built a network of Youropeans. They can interact -I have handed out Youropeans-mailaddresses- and connect. Now a group of some 300 people, but in Phase Two new members can join too. They will do so 1) because they've heard from Youropeans through the publicity that goes with the book, in Dutch and other languages.
Also 2) because they can communicate with people with the same profession, and 3) because the network offers a friend/host & bed through EuroBnb.

How do you get there?

2013 - preparations: setting up the project, the website
2013-2015 - visiting 28 capitals, interviewing almost 250 people, writing the stories into nice-reads, already creating impact through free publicity in many countries.
2015 - writing the book, based upon all the stories and my own impressions, comparing the Youropeans, writing about actual themes as solidarity and immigration, looking for European values, finding out if 'Brussels' is as bad as many think
2016-2017 - Publication of book in Dutch (March), finding foreign publishers, 'spreading the word' through 1) free publicity that comes with book, 2) exhibiting the Youropeans-photos, 3) by improving the digital platform, 4) setting up 'EuroBnb', a site inspired by Airbnb for (the expanding group of) Youropeans.

What is your story?


Who are you doing it for?

Everyone with a heart for Europe!

(but since I chose specific categories to interview, they were the first to respond: my interviews were placed in series in magazines for the police, for hairdressers, for entrepreneurs and doctors)

What makes your idea stand apart?

I think it is quite special that I have interviewed a carefully categorized group of people in so many countries in a very structured way as I did, making my 'data' both complete and personal.
Besides I'm an experienced social entrepreneur (my company Robin Good made CSR tangible in The Netherlands) and a writer with a track-record. This experience make the chances of finishing this project successfully bigger!

€ 50000,-

Funding requested from Advocate Europe

€ 140000,-

Total budget

Major expenses

travel and accommodation: 27.000, events: 24.000, IT (website/platform): 20.000 communication/pr: 18.000, interns/trainees: 9.000 fees (translation): 5.000

What do you need from the Advocate Europe community?

Dear fellow-European, I hope you'll be a Youropean too! My project is a success only if a lot of people know about it. It should (and could) become as big as Humans of New York. You might want to help me give me other ideas of how to spread the project and to secure the impact.



Idea created on Feb. 1, 2016
Last edit on Oct. 30, 2017

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